FIFA 19

Is FIFA losing the casual gamers?

It's hard to know whether to describe myself as casual or not. I play FIFA most days and I come on here to post stuff, which probably makes me more committed than most but I am not interested in the ultra competitiveness that has come with modern FIFA. I see a lot of posts about people losing motivation for the game and I think that's because of the changes that EA have made to the system.

There is no longer a mode made for fun. Old divisions had poor rewards but you could go at your own pace. Div rivals has become an extended Weekend League where the game demands your continuous engagement. A day missed can be a rank dropped and coins/packs lost. SB is the same.

This is part of a larger theme: constant player engagement. There's probably a better way of phrasing it but the dream for a company like EA is that we only play FIFA and nothing else. There was a time when you would dip in and out of FIFA any time you got bored. There was no penalty for doing so because there were no rewards. Now, with the pressure of missed coins/packs, we feel like we have to constantly engage with the game. However, playing one game relentlessly will make even the most ardent fan bored and that, I feel, is what leads to our frustrations with this game. Our mentality has been shaped to play to win, not play to have fun. So when we don't want to play the game but do out of a need to get enough points for a higher finish and ultimately better packs, it only irritates/infuriates us when we lose, especially if we feel it is because of a glitch in the gameplay. (We could talk for days about gameplay but I feel that's a separate topic.)

We can end up resenting the game because we feel forced to play it. Forced by an addiction that makes us want to get the next shiny card and there is never an end to the shiny cards because EA keep coming up with new concepts. This year has a substantially silly amount of special cards and it never fails to amaze me the different events EA can incorporate into its game: Movember… It would not surprise me to one day see an Equinox special or a Summer Solstice special or Ladies Day at the races…

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The drive to win has become so strong that we will go to extreme lengths to win: stadia with poor lighting, clashing kits, constant pauses, watching replays, dabbing and sushing, spamming broken mechanics etc… None of this is particularly good etiquette but worse, it is not fun gameplay; to have 90% of the teams using the same tactics, same formations, same players, same shooting patterns. It happens because we know it will give us the best chance of a win and the win is all that matters. We bypass fun in place of points.

EA have created an ultra competitive environment. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but for a person like me who enjoys a game or two a day, to relax and unwind and have fun, it is the death of enjoyment. EA can continue on this path and have a successful game but I feel they will have to do it without large swathes of the casual community who are, at this point, not finding the fun they want.

TLDR

Pitty, you should have. EA have made the game ultra competitive and that has killed most of the fun in the game.

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